On Saturday, Oct. 18, the much-anticipated game between the top two teams in the league was a close run effort, with Perth Glory defeating Sydney, 1-0 at home on a blistering shot in the 51st minute by Australian youth international forward Marianna Tabain.
Tabain entered this season with 17 goals in 63 W-League matches. Sydney’s Jasmyne Spencer just missed putting in a diagonal ball at the back post for a goal shortly after Tabain’s tally. Caitlin Foord and Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky played all 90 minutes for Perth, as did Americans Spencer and Samantha Johnson for Sydney FC. Perth has six wins in six games (18 points) and now has a 5-point advantage on second-place Sydney (13 points). Perth’s overall performance this season should see them achieve their second playoff spot in seven W-League seasons, and be an early favorite to make the Grand Final in December.
On Sunday, Oct. 19, a 2013/14 Grand Final rematch between Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar ended in a 1-1 tie. Melbourne sits third on 11 points and Brisbane improved to 4 points, in sixth place, and now is in grave danger of missing a playoff spot for the first time in their history. Australian youth international midfielder Amy Jackson scored for Melbourne, while 18-year-old Newcastle substitute midfielder Sunny Franco’s goal six minutes from time gave the Roar a share of the points.
Jackson, who was the W-League Player of the Week for week 5 after her hat-trick performance in Melbourne’s 4-0 win over Adelaide last weekend, now has five goals on the season. Jackson did not play in the league last year, taking time off for some charity work in Fiji and a spell playing in the Netherlands. She entered the season with five goals in 35 league appearances, but so far this season she has five goals in six games. NWSL vets Lisa De Vanna (Washington), Stephanie Catley (Portland), Lauren Barnes (Seattle) and Christine Nairn (Washington) all played the full match for Melbourne, while Elli Reed (Seattle) entered the game in the 72nd minute. NWSL players Nadine Angerer (Portland) and Katrina Gorry (FC Kansas City) played 90 minutes for the Roar.
Also on Sunday, visiting Adelaide Reds recorded their first win of the season, shocking Canberra United, 3-2 behind two goals from Kristy Moore, who has been capped internationally by both Australia and England. All-time W-League leading scorer Michelle Heyman scored once for Canberra. Lori Lindsey and Stephanie Ochs played 90 minutes for Canberra, while goalkeeper Chantel Jones did not play for the first time this season, making way for backup 21-year-old Melissa Maizels, making her debut in the W-League.
The Newcastle Jets emphatically defeated Western Sydney Wanderers, 5-1 on Sunday, leaping into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with Canberra on 9 points after the Capital City club’s surprising loss to Adelaide the same day. Emily Van Egmond, who played last season with Chicago Red Stars, scored the first goal for the Jets just before halftime. Australian youth international forward Tara Andrews scored twice within eight minutes in the second half for the Jets. Andrews started the season with 17 goals in 48 W-League appearances.
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